Tuesday, November 30, 2010

A Faux Christmas Mantel

We don't have a mantel in our home, but I decided to make a faux mantel to hang our stockings from.
Working with a very small budget I decided to use what I had.
I started out by making my mantel using a frame/mirror in my dinning room that has hooks on it.

Stringing garland greenery and battery operated lights over the hooks for starters,
I then added ornaments hung from ribbons...

finishing it off with a small gold bow and a diy pine cone ornament that I made years ago.

So the stocking are hung despite the lack of a real mantel.

The Lettered Cottage

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

DIY Pillar Candles

I'm always excited to receive my Pottery Barn magazine in the mail.

As I was paging through the magazine, I became very excited when I spotted these candles...

I've made a lot of candles for gifts and knew using this technique would work great to make some new candles.

All you need is two pillar candles...which I had left from our daughter's wedding.
Vellum scrapbook paper (this is a clear translucent paper).
Wax paper
Embossing heat gun

Start by making a copy of the sheet music you want to use.
I use antique sheet music from The Graphics Fairy and print it onto the vellum paper.
Cutting the paper to fit the candle.

You can hold it in place with a few small pins or wrap a piece of wax paper completely over the vellum paper.

Now take your embossing heat gun, and apply heat evenly over entire surface until the wax melts and coats the vellum paper.

Remove the pins or wax paper, and allow the candle to dry.

An alternate way to do this if you don't have a embossing heat gun is to wrap the candle with the vellum and adhere the back together with tape.

Making these candles inspires me to put out my Christmas decorations.
I usually start putting them out the day after Thanksgiving.

I've got a head start this year!

I'm linking this post to...

The DIY Show Off

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Upholstered Headboard Featured

I've been featured at These Magical Years!

Thanks Yvonne! for featuring my DIY Upholstered Headboard.

Yvonne has a great blog that features a lot of tutorials. If you've never visited her blog I'd encourage you to do so.

You can see my headboard tutorial at her blog...

These Magical Years ,
or to read the complete post on the headboard here.

These Magical Years

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Adding A Touch Of Fall To Your Home

I love the colors and warm scent of fall.

You can incorporate this into your own home decor by adding a few simple things that you may already own.

Candles are a good example of this: they add both a wonderful scent to your home and a splash of color.

Here are a few I've added around the house.

I love the smell of cinnamon these candles give.

This one smells like sticky buns, it makes you want to bake cinnamon rolls.

Candle sticks are great because you can just change the candle for the season.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Another Great Lamp Find

I've been looking for a new lamp for our living room.
While shopping at Goodwill yesterday I found this great lamp. I was very excited to see it was still in the store
because last week I spotted it, but passed it by because it had a few dings. But after doing some shopping in other stores and not being able to find the style or price I wanted,
I kept thinking about what I had passed by at Goodwill.

(photo - milo.com)

To my surprise I found it sitting on a back shelf.
Isn't she a beauty!
Brand new never been used with the tag still attached ... for a mere $9.99.
I previously found the drum shade for $2.99 at Goodwill as well.

You can see the dings in the photo, but that was an easy fix.
I just took out my metallic bronze spray paint can, and gave it a very light coat of paint. The light dusting of paint was just enough to cover up the scratches while
letting the original color of the lamp shine through.

Much better after a little paint touch up!

Adding the paint will also blend my two living room lamps together.
Remember this lamp that got a makeover several months ago with the same paint.

Looking on line I found similar lamps for
$39 - $329.95;
making shopping second hand a real money saver! Yea!

I'm working on a makeover for our living room
and this lamp will work perfect, because it has both the square and circle design
that I'm incorporating in the room.

Here is a little sneak peak of the rug I found for the room.

I'll be sharing the room reveal with you in the near future.
(which may take me a little time,
because I have two chairs to reupholster or make slipcovers for)

In the mean time, I'll keep looking for great finds.

Tip of the day :
Remember when shopping @ secondhand and thrift stores;
be flexible keeping your eye out for things you'll be using now or in the future.
big thing to remember:
if you like it take it now because tomorrow it may be gone.

Linking this post to...
Twice Owned Tuesday @ House of Grace
Tuesday's Treasure @ My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia

Thursday, November 4, 2010

DIY Tufted Upholstered Headboard

Do you remember back when I showed you our master bed room makeover. I promised to share with you how we made our tufted upholstered headboard. Recently my makeover was featured at Remodelaholic and several people have asked for my diy instructions. (This post will be of some length.)

I've asked my husband to write instructions for me on the building of the bed since he is the carpenter in the family, while I took on the roll of helper and decorator in this project. This project was taken on three years ago when we decided to upgrade from a queen size bed to a king bed. We sold our four poster oak bed and took up the challenge to build our own headboard.
The inspiration came to us while staying at a hotel with a luxurious tufted headboard. We liked the fact that the headboard was soft and comfortable along with stream line for both a contemporary or traditional room along with adding elegance to the room.
We shopped around and found some great inspirations like these beds from Pottery Barn and Target.

(Photo - target.com)

Here are the plans he drew up before starting the project.

(The plans maybe a little blurred, if you are interested in seeing the plans better I could send you a pdf file.)

Steps for building the bed:

1. Cut 4" X 4" for headboard frame to the length.

2. Notch 4" X 4"'s as seen in diagram.
(note: all notches in the 4 X 4 are 1 1/2 inch deep.)

3. Cut dado 1/2' from back of frame 1/2" deep and wide enough to accept 1/2 " plywood panel.

4. Cut 1/2 " plywood panel for the headboard.

5. Glue and screw headboard frame together with plywood panel inserted in dados.

6. Build 2" X 6" frame. The frame will be inserted into the bottom notches in the headboard. Use 2" X 6" joist hangers to support 2" X 6" cross members.

7. Cut 4" X 4" "feet" for the "foot-side" of the bed frame. Cut notches 1 1/2 " deep by 5 1/2 " high (wide) on two sides. The "foot post" will be inserted on the inside of the bed-frame.

8. Insert "foot post" and screw into place with a 3" deck screw. Do Not Glue, otherwise, you'll not be able to take the bed apart for moving.

9. Insert bed-frame into notches in headboard frame. Securing with 3" deck screws, but do not glue.

10. Wrap head board 4" X4" with 1/4 " batting to within 3" of bottom of legs. Staple the batting onto the back of the headboard and inside the "foam cavity", created by the plywood in dados.
(Photo - joann.com)

11. Cover posts with upholstery fabric of your choice. Make sure that you keep equal tension on the batting and fabric to creating a smooth finish.

12. Cut 1/4 " plywood that fits easily yet without excessive play into the "foam cavity" created in the headboard with dados and 1/2" plywood insert. This 1/4" plywood insert will be used to make the upholstered foam insert.

13. Slide 1/4" plywood into the "foam cavity" holding it in place with 3/4" sheet rock screws screwed in from the back. Now drill 1/4" holes through both 1/2" and 1/4" plywood where each button will be located.

14. Remove 1/4" plywood and use spray adhesive to secure 3" foam into place and cover with upholstery fabric, making sure to work from the middle to the outside tugging gently to keep the fabric tight and flat.

(photo - joann.com)
15. Insert foam panel into the cavity and secure with screws from the back, making sure that the holes are lined up.
16. Working with a partner and an extra long sewing needle and upholstery thread or fish line for extra strength, fasten covered buttons onto headboard, working from the center buttons outward adding the outside buttons last. You can also use buttons on the back to tie the strings off and prevent knot pulling through the foam.

17. Assemble the bed where it will be in use.

18. Cut 1/2" plywood for the mattress platform and secure with 1" sheet rock screws.

19. We stapled the bed skirt to the platform before dropping the mattress onto the platform. This will help prevent your skirt from unwanted moving around on the platform.

20. If you have questions about this project just email.

21. Enjoy your new bed!


Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Making Your Own Wedding Cake - Instructions

Wedding Wednesday

I know I promised you the instructions for making our daughters wedding cakes a few weeks ago and I apologize for the delay in the post.

We decided to make our daughters cakes to help defray costs. My husband made this a project to do with our daughters, while I made all the sheet cakes. It was such a great bonding and special time between father and daughter.

Did you know that the average wedding cake cost $548 according to the Bridal Association of America.

Bakeries and specialty shops can charge from $1.50 to over $10 per slice, depending on your choice of a standard flavored 2 - 3 tiered cake or a high end gourmet cake. Additional cost are added for fresh flowers, fillings, fondant, delivery and assembly changes. Cutting fees can run up to a dollar per slice.

The cakes we made were fuax with the exception of the top layer on our youngest daughters cake.

Here is what we did....

1. Purchased 4 inch green Styrofoam from Michael's craft store.

2. Cut it in three circles of varying sizes.

3. Applied a thin layer of joint compound.

(The photo below shows the groom to be helping apply the joint compound)

4. Applied a layer of latex paint.

5. Purchased fondant from Michael's craft store.

(Fondant makes the cake looks smooth and satiny)
We added food coloring paste and worked it well into the fondant followed by rolling it out thinly.

6. Applied rolled fondant onto the painted Styrofoam.

7. Trimming fondant even with the bottom of the Styrofoam, and
adding ribbon at the bottom.

Added decorative sugar pearls ...

and decorative scroll work.

(reinforcement wooded blocks were added to help
support the weight of the cake and prevent any leaning before adding the frosting decorations.

9. A Monogram was added to the top of the cake along with fresh flowers the day of the wedding.
( The monogram was a Christmas tree ornament purchased for only $1.99 on sale,
compared to $10 - $20 @ Bridal shops.)

Finished cakes!!!

Because the cakes were faux, I baked sheet cakes to serve to the guests.
I used a special recipe given to me by a lady who made wedding cakes for many years.
I topped them off with butter cream frosting.

I made a total of 11 sheet cakes.

I received many complements of these cakes and the great flavor.

Making your own sheet cakes is a great way to keep the cost of the wedding cake low.

The sheet cake costs around $3.50 each, compared to buying them at $20 a cake.

(Cake cost facts from - costhelper.com)


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